DISPUTES with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind. The same blind adherence to their own arguments is to be expected in both; the same contempt of their antagonists; and the same passionate vehemence, in inforcing sophistry and falsehood. And as reasoning is not the source, whence either disputant derives his tenets; it is in vain to expect, that any logic, which speaks not to the affections, will ever engage him to embrace sounder principles.
Over a series of elegantly written, engaging essays, the Enquiry examines the experiential and psychological sources of meaning and knowledge, the foundations of reasoning about matters that lie beyond the scope of our sensory experience and memory, the nature of belief, and the limitations of our knowledge. The positions Hume takes on these topics have been described as paradigmatically empiricist, sceptical, and naturalist and have been widely influential and even more widely decried.
The introduction to this edition discusses the Enquiry’s origin, evolution, and critical reception, while appendices provide examples of contemporary responses to Hume.
Sympathy, we shall allow, is much fainter than our concern for ourselves, and sympathy with persons remote from us much fainter than that with persons near and contiguous; but for this very reason it is necessary for us, in our calm judgments and discourse concerning the characters of men, to neglect all these differences and render our sentiments more public and social.-from "Why Utility Pleases"David Hume may well be the most significant philosopher ever to write in the English language: his arguments dramatically influenced both scientific and religious thinking, and much of what he wrote-particular concerning free will, political theory, and religion-still sounds startlingly modern. Hume himself called this "incomparably the best" of all his many writings. First published in 1751, it is an astonishing consideration of source and value of the feelings, thoughts, and actions we call "morality," and it is required reading for anyone who calls himself educated.AUTHOR BIO: Scottish philosopher, historian, and essayist DAVID HUME (1711-1776) also wrote A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740) and Enquiry's Concerning Human Understanding (1748).
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is a philosophical work written by the Scottish philosopher David Hume. Through dialogue, three fictional characters named Demea, Philo, and Cleanthes debate the nature of God's existence. While all three agree that a god exists, they differ sharply in opinion on God's nature or attributes and how, or if, humankind can come to knowledge of a deity. In the Dialogues, Hume's characters debate a number of arguments for the existence of God, and arguments whose proponents believe through which we may come to know the nature of God. Such topics debated include the argument from design - for which Hume uses a house - and whether there is more suffering or good in the world (Argument from evil)
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a book by the Scottish empiricist philosopher David Hume. This book has proven highly influential, both in the years that would immediately follow and today. Immanuel Kant points to it as the book which woke him from his self-described "dogmatic slumber". The argument of the Enquiry proceeds by a series of incremental steps, separated into chapters which logically succeed one another. After expounding his epistemology, Hume explains how to apply his principles to specific topics. I. Of the Different Species of Philosophy II. Of the Origin of Ideas III. Of the Association of Ideas IV. Sceptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding V. Sceptical Solution of these Doubts VI. Of Probability VII. Of the Idea of Necessary Connexion VIII. Of Liberty and Necessity IX. Of the Reason of Animals X. Of Miracles XI. Of a Particular Providence and of a Future State XII. Of the Academical or Sceptical Philosophy
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